2019 is almost over and it’s been a year jam-packed with great new game releases, spiffy hardware revamps and snazzy gaming related merch.
With so many releases, it can be overwhelming to sift through for that perfect gift, but we’ve got you covered. From Respawn’s long-awaited Star Wars game and Razer's forray into the drink market, to indie darlings that changed the rules, CGMagazine has put together a list of the best gifts to buy for that special gamer in your life.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Playing a game together with a friend is one of the aspects makes video games so endearing, and Borderlands 3 is a fantastic co-op game. It’s unabashed humour, fast and frenetic gunplay, and gorgeously stylized world make for a sensory overload that somehow manages to come together to create an immensely fun game.
You can play through the whole game by yourself if that’s your preference but the thrill of the looting and shooting that the game prides itself on is significantly elevated when playing with another person. From fighting over loot drops and comparing skins to simply reacting to the game’s absurd humour, there’s a lot to love about Borderlands 3, and it’s the perfect gift for fans of co-op gaming. You can buy Borderlands 3
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
It’s been a great year for new Star Wars content with The Mandalorian flexing its baby Yoda muscles on Disney +, The Rise of Skywalker closing out a nine-film series on the big screen, and of course, the release of Respawn’s action-packed adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It’s been years since there’s been a story-based Star Wars game and it’s clear that the wait has been well worth it.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is not only a true, return to form for good single-player Star Wars games, but is one of the best games of 2019. At its essence, Fallen Order is an action-adventure game, with light puzzle-solving elements thrown in for good measure. It’s a fun and satisfying action-adventure game that also happens to be set within the movie canon of the franchise. Aside from the visuals and rewarding gameplay, Fallen Order offers great voice acting and sound design, which shouldn’t be too surprising but is worth mentioning. Long-time fans of Star Wars will enjoy their time with Fallen Order for both its gameplay and story beats.
Available on Nintendo Switch and PC.
With so many open-world action style games releasing this year, Baba Is You is a wonderfully refreshing puzzle game full of charm and wit. At its heart, Baba Is You is a game about assessing rules and changing them as you go.
The game turns its own rules into the puzzle mechanic, rather than have you figure out puzzles using mechanics. Each short, puzzling stage will have its rules written out throughout the stage, like ROCK IS PUSH or WALL IS STOP, telling you exactly what you can and cannot interact with to complete a stage. All of those words can be moved around and reordered on the map, allowing you to alter the rules of the game. If you change things to WALL IS PUSH, for example, you’ll suddenly be able to shove all of those pesky walls out of your way.
Baba Is You is a delightful puzzle game full of absurd solutions and one that appeals to a wide range of gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s very much a perfect game to play after all the presents have been opened, and a relaxing one at that.
One of the coolest video game partnerships from the past year is easily Lego’s partnership with Overwatch. Overwatch’s bright and vibrant characters fit seamlessly as Lego characters and while there have been several Lego Overwatch sets released to date, Lego Wrecking Ball is one of the best.
Not only is it a fun build that involves some non-standard lego pieces and sticker placement, but Wrecking Ball can transform from an upright shooting mode into an actual ball that can be rolled around. The package is tied together by the Hammond Minifigure which is fittingly tiny and devilishly cute to boot.
For anyone that has ever gotten wrapped up in late-night gaming sessions, the need for an extra bit of energy to keep you going has always been an issue. Back in the early 2000’s, it was Bawls or Jolt Cola, then it was RedBull, and now, Razer, the company behind many of the top-listed gaming gear has entered the fray with Respawn.
First introduced at E3 2019, this drink mix tries to combine the energy of a RedBull while working to reduce the jittery nature of many energy drinks. Including ingredients like green tea extract, choline, B vitamins, and 95mg of caffeine it manages to give the boost much need and still keeps you focused and alert for all the gaming moments. CGM has tested it both at E3 and after, and while we would not recommend it for everyone - Caffeine can be a bit much depending on the person - it does do what it is supposed to, and is much better for a late-night session then pounding RedBull all night long.
You can purchase Razer Respawn from the official Razer Store.
Mobile gaming is getting more popular as time goes on. From Fortnite to PUBG phones are becoming the place many people play games on the go. Even with this fact, the touch screen remains the least ideal way to play competitive games on the go. There are ways to pair console controllers and even ways to clip your phone onto a way to play, but nothing ever felt comfortable. At this at least until Razer unleased the Jungglecat, it’s new phone control system.
Visually similair to the Nintendo Switch, the Junglecat is a simple solution to an age old problem. The package comes with three phone cases (for the Razer Phone 2, Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Samsung Galaxy Note 9) and comes with two controllers that can be used attached, or separated from the phone, similar to how the Nintendo Switch works.
Looking similar to the Nintendo Switch Joy-cons, the controllers have all the needed features you could expect from a mobile control system, including two analog thumbsticks, a d-pad, and a set of four face buttons. Best of all, the Junglecat is comfortable to hold over long periods of time, is easy to charge, and actually works as advertised. It is a bit annoying to be limited to the selection of phones currently on offer, but if you have one of these devices, and play on the go, the Junglecat is a no brainer.
You can purchase the Razer Junglecat on the Offical Razer Store.
While the Nintendo Switch was built perfectly for most peoples needs, with the advent of well built Bluetooth headphones, the Nintendo Switch is a bit lacking. This is where the new Genki Bluetooth Audio comes in, giving the Nintendo Switch the ability to use the latest and greatest Bluetooth headphones with no issue.
The Genki uses Bluetooth 5 offering low latency sound and works with most headsets (has worked with all the ones we have for testing in the office). It even will work as a Wireless Headphone splitter for people that want to engage in some split-screen gaming or some PvP on the same system and has support for built-in microphone audio for voice chat with Fortnight and even Overwatch.
Small, and portable, it is a great addition to an already good system, and at $66 CAD it is a great stocking stuffer for the gamer in your life. It works well, is easy to set up, and works as advertised, and the audio sounds as you would hope, giving the audio you would hope for from the headphones you already own.
You can purchase the Genki Bluetooth Audio on the Amazon
UNIQLO the Japanese fashion store has taken North America by storm, offering unique and fun nerd culture designs on high-quality shirts that will make everyone turn as you walk past. Featuring exclusive art from Fortnite, X-Men, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon and more.
CGM has had the chance to try on some of these shirts, and they do live up to the hype. They feel great, and the artists they choose for the designs knock it out of the park. While a bit pricier then some t-shirts, the extra cost is well worth it for the quality and styles they have on offer. If you or someone you care about is a fan of geeky culture, look no further then Uniqlo.
You can pick up Uniqlo t-shirts from any retail store or online at uniqlo.com